Wearables and apps to help you stay organised and keep track of your time

Wearables and apps to help you stay organised and keep track of your time

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Technology in the workplace is both a blessing and a curse. Workplace Insight recently published an article about tech multi-tasking and how switching through different platforms takes away ones focus. Employees need to stay updated through digital means all the time but staying connected to the cloud also means being susceptible to various distractions. However, technology usage just takes a little bit of refinement to increase productivity and various wearables, devices and mobile apps are the way to do that.

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Humanscale launches first ever task chair made from recycled fishing nets

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Humanscale has launched its Smart Ocean chair; an adaption of the legendary Diffrient Smart chair that incorporates almost 1kg of recycled fishing net material (NetPlus). Sourced from Bureo, an emerging venture developing solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution, this is the first product available to purchase from the consortium of companies under the NextWave initiative. The nets used in the production of the new task chair are from Bureo’s Net Positiva recycling program, which facilitates the collection of discarded plastic fishing nets and provides incentives to participating coastal communities. The nets are then transformed  into plastic pellets and used to manufacture products such as skateboards, sunglasses, and now an ergonomic task chair.  Humanscale plans to replicate material solutions across their product line, supporting the expansion of Bureo’s recycling program and lowering dependency on new plastics.

 

Bisley announces plans to elevate the humble locker

Bisley announces plans to elevate the humble locker

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Bisley has launched Bisley LateralFile Lodge, a new range of lockers in response to the increased need within contemporary agile offices for personal, transient and temporary storage space. Bisley’s new range of personal storage provides a timely evolution to this essential element of office design. Key features include:

Power  

Mobile technology is an essential tool for a majority of workers and running out of power can be disruptive. Bisley’s new lockers are powered, making it possible to take a laptop away to a desk, only to be charged again when it goes back in the locker overnight, locked safely away behind a simple barrel lock, digital combination locks or an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) lock.

Zoning

A range of seamless back and surface material options such as acoustic performance panels or dry-wipe boards, and the absence of tie bars, results in a slick and contemporary finish.

The aesthetic appeal and multi-use of the of these lockers means that they do not need to be located on the perimeter of the floorplate, but become an integral part of the interior design, zoning spaces, enhancing breakout spaces and encouraging movement amongst employees.

Personalisation        

The ‘hard to reach’ bottom section of the locker stack can be modified to include a retractable personal drawer, maximising its capacity and accessible use. There is also the opportunity to further personalise each locker with business card/photo holders included as standard to increase the sense of ownership and belonging.

Choice and versatility

The range is available in a multitude of sizes (single or double height to suit requirements), colours, finishes and lock type. Planting tubs can be integrated on to the top of the storage units, enabling the incorporation of storage in biophillic workplace designs, increasingly popular due to the proven benefits for the wellbeing of employees. The wide range of aesthetics available for the tops and shelves, and the option of wood finish doors, mean the new locker range can be specified in any design scheme.

Helen Owen, Director of Business Development at Bisley says: “We accept that change is the only certainty in business but human nature will always dictate the need for employees to have a space that they can call their own. Lockers are a simple, effective and efficient way to provide this. The resurgence of the locker as the perfect storage solution for agile, dynamic workplaces, as well as supporting the co-working phenomenon is to be welcomed.”

The full range of lockers can be seen here:

https://www.bisley.com/products/storage/personal/lateralfile

Every company should champion design and creativity at board level

Every company should champion design and creativity at board level

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All business and life are about selling. Well that’s what Mark Price (Lord Price) the previous Managing Director of Waitrose and former Minister with the Department for International Trade said in a recent book, Workplace Fables: 147 True Life Stories. I like Mark Price and his writings but certainly don’t agree with his view about selling. To me business and life are about design. Just close your eyes and imagine life without it. If your imagination could handle this, and when you opened your eyes you would be standing in a field stark naked, because nothing apart from nature would exist. If you had bad eyesight things would be blurred and any illnesses could not be medicated. You may even have trouble eating unless you found some palatable vegetation or a creature willing to be caught, unless of course it did not eat you first.

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Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

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Humanscale, has launched its next generation of portable sit/stand products. The QuickStand Eco claims to unite function and sustainability at an accessible price point to improve employee performance and encourage a more active workplace. This new height-adjustable solution is sleeker, easier to install and comprises more sustainable materials than ever before. QuickStand Eco utilises minimal parts and pieces, limiting it’s environmental footprint and maintaining a minimal, clean aesthetic. It features simple setup and is easy to transport, making it a flexible option for both corporate and home offices. The instant height adjustability encourages users to sit and stand more often and the product can also be integrated with Humanscale’s OfficeIQ software, which sends periodic alerts when it is time to adjust one’s position.

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KI launches new Ruckus seating collection for active learning spaces

KI launches new Ruckus seating collection for active learning spaces

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KI’s new Ruckus seating collection disrupts and redefines the boundaries of learning spaces. It’s not so much an evolution as a revolution. It looks like nothing else, it can be used like nothing else. This game-changing chair optimises student engagement, facilitates a wide range of teaching styles, and adapts to a variety of users and uses. Today’s educational environments are required to support ‘active learning’. Maker-centred and project based learning models are replacing linear, more traditional instructor-based lessons. Innovative curricula and pedagogies can only succeed if students are able to move freely and engage with their teachers, their materials and each other. Ruckus is a unique approach to facilitating this essential movement – it allows the user to rotate 360 degrees within the chair, rather than having to move the chair itself. Regardless of starting position, the user can quickly pivot and reorient themselves to where they need to direct their attention. This has been proven to enhance concentration, retention and engagement with materials, tools, instructors and fellow students.

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New gadget aims to deal with office acoustics at source

New gadget aims to deal with office acoustics at source 0

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office acousticsLast year we ran a piece which looked at some of the outlandish ways designers have offered people the chance to get some peace and quiet at work. The extremes people will consider as they deal with the challenge of office acoustics is enlightening. All of those examples relied on the principle of keeping at least some of the racket produced by colleagues from entering the ear. But a new prototype product launched at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show  in Las Vegas frames the issue differently by going back to source. The Hushme is a voice masking device for mobile phones. It has integrated earbuds and comes with a range of masking sounds such as wind, rain, monkey, Darth Vader and squirrel. You have to wonder who it’s aimed at but the makers suggest it is all about privacy. Then again, it may make an ideal gift for some and could be popular for this year’s Secret Santas.

The future of London depends on cohesion, flexible working and infrastructure

The future of London depends on cohesion, flexible working and infrastructure 0

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UBM_London+The future of London is the subject of a new and wide ranging collection of essays from Think Tank Localis. It includes contributions from the likes of Boris Johnson, Terry Farrell, Peter Bazalgette and Justine Roberts. Its core theme is that while London has established itself as one of the world’s great financial and cultural powerhouses over the last thirty years, it now faces a number of new challenges and intransigent problems that it must address in a new globalised era. These have taken on a new perspective as the UK prepares to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, something which the report repeats was not the choice of Londoners, but which did perhaps reveal a neglect of the rest of the UK as the Government focused too much attention and investment on the capital. So, while the report focuses on London it also tries to create a vision of a London better integrated with the needs of the rest of the UK and based on a new partnership with the EU.

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New device has potential to store huge amounts of data at atomic level

New device has potential to store huge amounts of data at atomic level 0

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RTEmagicC_1kbMemory_Feynman_HR_01.jpgOver the past few years, there has been talk that we are approaching the end of the era of Moore’s Law. The law originated when the technologist Gordon Moore, who later founded Intel, wrote an essay in which he claimed that the process of miniaturisation would mean that computer chips would double in power every two years and they would eventually become so small they could be embedded in a wide number of objects including something he called a ‘personal portable communications’ device. Over the last half century, the eponymous law has held up pretty well and it has been the driving force of the world’s economy over that time. A 2013 McKinsey article argued that around  40 percent of the global productivity growth over the previous two decades could be attributed to the exponential  increase in computer power described by Moore. So there was inevitably a great deal of interest in what would happen when further miniaturisation became impossible.

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US small business owners still cling to ‘office basics’, claims study

US small business owners still cling to ‘office basics’, claims study 0

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9d5c0df1bfd9da2178e869944ba0d87dSmall businesses still rely heavily on the traditional working environment, according to the 2016 Business Survey from office equipment maker Brother. The report says these businesses are open to adopting next-generation cloud based and mobile technology, but they’re also ‘holding on to’ what it calls office basics such as printers, scanners and faxes. Over half (58 percent) of small businesses’ daily work tasks still require a physical office presence and 91 percent of small business owners currently have a printer, scanner, copier or fax machine within their work space. The need for these devices is confirmed in the data showing 43 percent of this same group use a printer, on average, 10 or more times per day.  The online survey of 509 small business owners in the US claims that the attachment to traditional devices does not mean that firms aren’t adopting new tech, but rather that they are trying to ‘have the best of both worlds’.

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New report links workplace design with greater employee engagement

New report links workplace design with greater employee engagement 0

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Workplace designA new analysis by real estate consultancy JLL links more intelligent and agile workplace design with the ongoing and often elusive quest to better engage employees. The report sets out to identify the impact that disengagement has on both organisations and the economy, identifies problem areas and sets out a number of suggested solution. The authors make the startling claim that active disengagement costs the US economy somewhere between $450 billion and $550 billion each year. Conversely, based on an analysis of 207 organisations over an 11 year period, other research  suggests that companies who actively develop their culture and engage staff return 516 percent higher revenues and 755 percent higher profits. The report also claims that firms who get things right are better at attracting and retaining talent, standing out from their competitors and meeting their strategic objectives through employee engagement.

How biodynamic lighting stimulates sense and performance at work

How biodynamic lighting stimulates sense and performance at work 0

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lavigo-pulse-vtl-b1-tagesverlauf-1-bBiodynamic lighting is an artificial light source that replicates the dynamic variations of daylight and sunlight through a light management system. Up until recent times, it was commonly believed that light was only needed for seeing. However, in 2001, an American scientist, G. C. Brainard discovered a circadian photoreceptor in the retina, which receives a specific quality and quantity of light, and sets the biological clock.* He discovered that light not only provides us with the ability to see, but that light enters the eye via the ‘fourth pathway’, which has a vital non-visual or biological effect on the human body. His studies showed that a certain quantity and quality of light stimulates the biological clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates hormone levels, particularly melatonin and cortisone, in the body and so plays a vital role in our physical and mental wellbeing.

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